lagunitas brews cruise
Photo courtesy of Chris Bullock/The Ball Out

San Diego, CA — Summer nights in San Diego tend to display the most amazing things.

If you’re a fan of gorgeous sunsets, a nice breeze over the downtown harbor, and delicious craft beer, then the third annual Lagunitas Brews Cruise was the perfect way to begin your Labor Day weekend.

Hosted by Rock Star Beer Festivals on the renowned Hornblower, the two-and-a-half hour cruise had everything a young adult could dream of. With 18 different beers on tap to go along with a full bar and delicious food options, all the ingredients were there for an enjoyable night.

To start the night, we hopped in line to enjoy their ‘Cherry Jane’ Sour Ale and the ‘Mozango’ IPA. For those who aren’t well versed in beer, IPA is short for India Pale Ale, a hoppier take on your normal American beer. The cherry sour ale had a rich, dark red color to it, but went down smooth. The Mozango was surprisingly light and refreshing for an IPA, and you could taste the mango juice that was brewed into it. As you walked along the middle deck of the Hornblower, you saw friends, families and even a bridal party hamming it up.

Pastrami Reuben sandwich and the ‘Junkyard Dog’. Photo courtesy of Chris Bullock/The Ball Out

The next stop after beginning the beer samples was of course, the food. Food served on a yacht is always among the best, and the Brews Cruise was no exception. With everything from blackened chicken wraps in a spinach tortilla, to their signature beer cheeseburger to Nashville hot chicken tenders. The food was disappearing faster than the shoreline. Once we took the first bite of our delicious dinner, it was a ‘wrap’ from there as we devoured our sandwiches.

The night was only barely beginning when the heavy guitar sound of Power Punks came from the lower deck. Power Punks, a modern punk rock cover band from Orange County, provided nearly two hours of modern classics. The band had a dynamic range of talent, starting the night with an hour-long homage to OC punk legends, The Offspring, before going into a medley of hits from Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, and many more. The crowd was going berzerk as they sang along to every word the vocalist sang.

Excited cruise attendees dance to DJ Eddey Haze. Photo courtesy of Chris Bullock/The Ball Out

After enjoying the live band, we went upstairs to the upper deck where a different crowd was turning up. Local club DJ Eddey Haze did what he did best, as he got the partygoers dancing and vibing along to tracks from Lil’ Jon, Martin Garrix, and more. Also on the upper deck were more amazing samples, including the limited release Willitized Coffee Stout. For those who love coffee and liquor, this rich stout was a double winner. This stout is aged in rye and bourbon barrels for a smoky, chocolatey, and coffee flavor. And with a 12.6 ABV, this stout is not for the light-hearted.

The best part of the night, however, wasn’t the beer or dancing alone. It was the amazing view that the attendees got to witness.

The Coronado Bridge. Photo Courtesy of Chris Bullock/The Ball Out

Exiting from the downtown harbor, cruise-goers got to enjoy their craft beer and delicious cuisine while overlooking the San Diego Bay. During the course of the cruise, the Hornblower explored all the way to the Coronado Bay before circling back to its home near the airport and USS Midway. The breath-taking sight of calm waters beneath the lighted backdrop of downtown San Diego was definitely the highlight of the cruise.

Overall, the Lagunitas Brews Cruise was a rousing success in its third year. They combined the best of their limited edition craft beers to go along with lively music and mouthwatering food. The end result was a happy, stress-free day to unwind and enjoy life for a couple of hours. This is definitely worth making the trip to San Diego for.

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